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turn it into politics. and that is what appears to be the case right now in washington, d.c. >> but, sir, politics have a huge influence in this, as we look at the nra which is large lobbying group for gun manufacturers that has supported -- they support you. you have an "a" rating from them. you have voted yes on promoting gun sellers and manufacturers. and yes on the waiting periods taking waiting periods from 72 hours to one day yes on a trigger lock law in washington, d.c. how can you say politics are not involved with this when you look at a voting record right there. the nra gives you an "a" in allowing for people like an adam lanza to have access to the weapons he might have had. his mother might have had it legally, but we cannot police what his mother is doing inside that house to keep lanza away from those weapons. >> yes, and none of the policy issues which you just ticked off would have prevented adam lanza from doing this. and it is very sad that we want to cloud the issue by making nra the policy, as opposed to adam lan za and what triggers this. think of germany, germ
. >>> and now to the efforts to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. president obama returns to washington later today and the senate is due in session, but just about everyone agrees with just five days left, the possibility for a grand bargain to avoid across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts is all but lost, and even prospects for watered down deals seems slim. tara mergener is in washington with more. tara, good morning. >> good morning, duarte. yes. hopes for legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff now turns to the senate, but white house and republicans remain far apart. senators and staffers will be filling these empty hallways today trying to work out a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. higher taxes will give the average american about $1,500 less to spend next year, and economists believe the $110 billion spending cuts will result in more layoffs. senator harry reid has a plan to keep taxes low for everyone making less than $250,000 a year as well as short-term spending cuts until a bigger deal can be reached. >> it is going to be a patch because in four days we can't solve everythi
away from each other. both men left washington for the holidays. president obama and family are in his native hawaii for a short christmas break. we'll have a live report from hawaii and the latest on the fiscal cliff talks a few minutes as well. >>> it's official. bp oil company will pay up to the tune of $7.8 billion. that is a class action settlement amount they agreed to pay, about 100,000 businesses and individuals hurt by the biggest oil spill in american history. a federal judge formized the settlement yesterday. a lot of gulf coast residents opted out of the class action suit and are pursuing lawsuits on their own. >>> in egypt today, more effects of a brand-new government's growing pains. the vice president is out. he is stepping down there. this man, mahmud mechanicy announced political life does not agree with him, and he'll go back to being a judge. it's the same day the egyptian people are voting for a second straight weekend on proposed changes to the country new islamist backed constitution. egypt's new president gave himself near absolute power. >>> a former u.s. marine
. is washington ready for a fight over guns that no one thought would happen? >>> blast from the past. find out what michael dukakis has to say about the idea of being a u.s. senator once john kerry becomes officially the next secretary of state. being a little bit coy. could he run? here comes the new. >>> good morning from washington. it is wednesday, december 19th, 2012. this is the. i'm chuck todd. >>> today could be the day the two sides come together for a big deficit reduction deal or we could be 24 hours from it totally falling apart. that seems like telling you everything and nothing at the same time. but there's something to this. follow me here. the president and speaker boehner have really never been closer to a deal. they both made major concessions over the last i'd say 72 hours. the nation still mourning the tragedy in connecticut. both sides have admitted that the tone of the talks have changed. >> an event like that, as tragic as it is, brings us a little closer together. >> i continue to have hope that we can reach an agreement. it's not a time to put americans through more st
relating to the fiscal cliff is dana bash. she joins me now from washington. dana, great to see you again. tell me does even a band-aid approach work? >> it's going to be tough. this is all math. but it really has to do with the math with regard to votes. and democrats especially who i'm talking to in the senate which is probably where this will originate, the reality is that democrats don't hold a very big majority. her going to need to have a handful of republicans to cross party lines and vote with them on the whole concept of raising any taxes. especially what the president wants which is something that is raising taxes on all americans making more than $250,000. that's the senate. never mind the house, which of course, made clear to the house speaker that they won't even go for something that's a million dollars or more when it comes to tax increases. that was last week. >> dana, you were saying that when you were reporting on it when it was breaking that evening, you called that devastating for john boehner. now that house republicans have clearly rebelled against john boehner, can
is over. washington get back to work. the countdown is on. the clock is ticking. you've got six days to prevent this country from going over the fiscal cliff and today at least, we didn't see any action. nothing. nothing, nada. now, i'm not trying to be a grinch here. i hope everyone's had a merry, merry christmas. just like the president prescribed. >> drink some eggnog, have some christmas cookies, sing some christmas carols. >> but today's the 26th. you've drunk, you eaten and you've sung. now is the time for action. the latest news out of washington tonight, treasury secretary tim geithner told congress that the country will hit the debt ceiling on december 31st, new year's eve, some two months earlier than expected. but there is still no date yet on when the house of representatives will be called into session to veto a vote on any deal. president obama cut his hawaiian vacation short and is due to land in washington tomorrow. but if politicians aren't feeling enough urgency, the american people certainly are. a new gallup poll shows that 50% of americans think a deal is likely.
is an american reporter who has worked for a number of outlets, including mcclatchy service and the "washington post." he has been missing in syria since august. in all there are 15 journalists who have reported to have gone missing in syria while reporting on this conflict. so far of the 15 only eight have been freed. our richard and ghazi and john are three of them. we and they and their families feel very lucky and very happy tonight that that is the case, even as we continue to be concerned about those for whom we cannot yet say that. foreign correspondents and crews know exactly how dangerous it can be to report from a war zone. we know in part from their reporting that this particular war zone appears to be descending into just total chaos right now. you can see signs of that in the syrian government's apparent decision to fire scud missiles inside its own territory at its own people. they deny they have done it. nato says they have evidence they have. you can see it in the increasing alarm in the increasing reports that the regime may at least be moving its chemical weapons stocks around
up everything. >> reporter: an abc news "washington post" poll show more americans continue to favor more restrictions on gun ownership. even sales of gun safes are shooting up. >> people are definitely concerned about the safety of their families and kids. >> reporter: a week after the massacre of those innocent children and adults in newtown, connecticut, the head of the national rifle association unveiled his plan, calling for every american school to have an armed guard. >> when that horrible monster tried to shoot his way into sandy hook school, that if a good guy with a gun had been there, he might have been able to stop him. >> we don't want to turn our schools into dodge cities. >> reporter: at least one school district in new jersey placed armed guards in each school over the governor's objection. >> you don't want to make this an armed camp for kids. i don't think that's a positive example. >> such an interesting debate. you feel like we have to do something to prevent another tragedy like the one we saw in newtown. but folks say you don't want to make campuses feel like po
, responsiveness and leadership at the senior levels in washington, tripoli, and benghazi. in a letter to congress secretary of state hillary clinton said she accepted every one of the panel's 24 recommendations. elise joins us from the state department. first of all, elise, characterize this for me. were we expecting this to be as scathing and then again give us a feel for who this panel is and how independent it is. >> ashleigh, i read a lot of these reports in my many years of covering the state department, and it is pretty scathing. i think we expected an honest assessment, a tough assessment, and it was really kind of extremely critical, not only of the state department as a whole but specific bureaus and in talking about this systemic value of senior leadership problems that basically failed not only to protect the consulate in benghazi but also failed to see the warning signs of this very deteriorating situation in benghazi that was really a brewing hot bed of islamic activity. ambassador thomas pickering, admiral mike mullen and the other people that were on this independent panel, really
to washington to avoid the fiscal cliff. >>> deep discounts. if you're not sick of the mall just yet, you're going to find sales today. >>> and the holiday homecoming. one family never imagined was possible. how a chance encounter by a caring stranger put a pup back in the arms of the little girl who loves her. >>> good morning, everyone. i'm muhammad lila. >> and i'm brandi hitt. paula and rob are off this morning. travel could be a challenge across much of the country. tornadoes, rain, snow, even a blizzard are all a threat. >> they are picking up the piece of a series of storms turned deadly. wendy gillette is joining us with more now. wendy? >> reporter: muhammad and brandi, we may dream of a white christmas. and many of us got one. but these storms also delivered a deadly punch, all across the country. >> oh, jesus. look at that tornado. >> reporter: this is just 1 of more than 30 reported tornadoes that touched down on christmas day, leaving behind heavy damage. >> still on the ground for over a minute. >> reporter: this one roared through mobile, alabama, tearing down parts of trin
wants to go to washington. is cory booker a shoe-in to be the next senator from new jersey? and one week after the tragedy in newtown, a moment of silence will be marked this morning after 9:30 and echoed across the country to pay tribute to the victims in a community still in shock. good morning from washington. it's friday, december 21st, 2012, and this is "the daily rundown. i'm chris cillizza in today for chuck todd. we start with speaker boehner's stunning defeat last night. his own party pulling the rug out from under him with just 11 days to go before we go over the fiscal cliff. boehner and his team spent the better part of the week trying to round up support for his plan b to avoid the cliff but in the end there weren't enough republicans willing to pass it. so at 7:45 last night the speaker convened house republicans, said a prayer, broke the news, and sent everyone home for the holidays. the majority leader eric canter relayed the news to reporters. >> no vote today? >> no. >> will there be a vote tomorrow? >> no. >> are you ditching plan b? will there be a vote today? >> no.
increases an spending cuts from taking effect in 36 hours. can washington get it done? we'll find out where the president stands as he talks exclusively to nbc news. >>> moments of impact. dramatic new images of the moment when a passenger jet crashed off the runway in russia on to a roadway killing four people. ♪ >>> and, fishy thing, this london fishmonger whose sales pitch has turned him into an internet sensation. the viral video that has millions of people around the world hooked, today, sunday, december 30th, 2012. >>> from nbc news this is "today" with lester holt and erica hill >>> i'm erica hill. >> i'm carl quintanilla. >> all eyes on washington. a number of americans wondering this morning why lawmakers have not yet been able to reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. president obama spoke exclusively to nbc's david gregory. we are going to get a preview of what he has to say just ahead. >> it has been just two weeks since the tragedy of sandy hook elementary in connecticut. a teenager in california wrote a poem to express her feelings saying she understood how it could happen
. >> "the washington post" reports that the president will put vice president biden in charge of the push to start this violence. biden met with the president along with education secretary arne duncan, eric hold and kathleen sebelius to try to formulate a plan. at the same time, perhaps moved by the national move, another plan seems it's taking shape. the deal to stop us from going over the fiscal cliff. speaker boehner and the preside president at the white house. now, the president supports raising taxes on people earning more than $400,000 a year. i want to bring in "washington post" columnist ruth marcus and the national journalist chris freisz. there's a lot owing on, assault weapons ban and the gun show loophole. do you think they're going to take this, how are they likely to approach this? >> well, i think the vice president say very good choice to lead this because of course he was the chairman of the senate judiciary where this legislation goes through for many years. and so he understands a little bit of what's politically possible or, let's cross our fingers, what might hopefu
children. parents can no longer take no for an answer from washington when the topic turns to protecting our children. entrenched special interests are going to try to muddy the cause in the coming days. the cause of this sickening mass shooting, like the others, is no longer a mystery to commonsense americans, and blessedly, there are more commonsense americans than there are special interests. even if it doesn't always seem that way. i say good luck to the gun lobbyists, good luck to the hollywood lawyer who tries to blunt the righteous anger of millions of parents by hiding behind twisted readings of our bill of rights. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. the first funerals today are for 6-year-old jack pinto and noah posner whose twin sister was in another classroom and survived the shootings. nbc's michelle franzen joins me now from fairfield, connecticut, where jack pinto's funeral is now underway. michelle. >> well, that's exactly right, andrea. we are here in fairfield about 30 miles from sandy hook where noah posner's burial services are underway. they began abo
money? >> yes, i believe so. >> reporter: john donovan, abc news, washington. >> money again the issue. so as we go through the next couple of days, all this talk about taxes and budget cuts, you would hope they say let's not cut from whatever pot of money goes towards mental health services. we'll see how it plays out in d.c. >> that's going to bring us so our facebook question of the day. we've been asking your advice as they discuss the gun control laws. >> jennifer says, it's not about gun control. it's about getting a country to embrace valuable character traits and practice them. >> paul is straightforward in saying, deterrence is the answer. >> and calling it a complex issue, lisa says congress needs to be the public servants they purport to be by banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines and increasing the mental health treatment safety. and the conversation we've seen since friday, whatever is going to happen, we don't know what will happen, but it's going to be somewhere where gun control meets mental health. >> the last two massacres we had, this one in newtown and
connell and john boehner representing the republicans. brianna keilar is live from washington. is anybody optimistic that a deal could be done today around a table? >> i will tell you the optimism is sort of sinking. senate majority leader harry reid said he doesn't see how it can get done by january 1st. we heard from president obama before he left from his vacation that he was optimistic. logistically the white house will tell you it's possible. when you listen to what you're hearing some of these congressional leaders say, there's a lot of posturing laying blame to the other side if we do go over the cliff. take a listen. >> republicans are not about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies, watching their kids play soccer, basketball, doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, house speaker john boehner is saying the senate needs to just take up a house pass bill that has already passed t
you very much. president obama challenging washington to do something about gun control. >> summon even one tiny iota of the courage that the teachers, the principal in newtown showed on friday. >>> finally, some real answers about the benghazi attack that killed four americans. we now know more than reason for the grossly inadequate security. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with president obama's call to action against what he calls the national epidemic of gun violence amid the trauma over the newtown school massacre, he has put vice president biden in charge of the agenda that could be submitted to congress next month. and a growing number of americans want action from the government. a brand new poll shows that 52% of u.s. adult dults favor major restrictions on guns, making all guns illegal versus 47% last august. let's turn to our white house correspondent brianna keilar. she's joining us. the president came out and didn't mince very words. >> reporter: no, wolf. this is the first time that president obama has laid out a time line. he appointed vice
on this sunday night, great to have you with us. we begin with the developing story from washington. those 11th hour talks to avoid the fiscal cliff. this evening here after they came to a halt, the vice president has been called in, now playing a central role. but time is running out. just tonight and tomorrow left. and if no agreement, taxes will go up for all americans. in fact, the average american family would see a tax increase of more than $3,400. as congress convened, even the senate chaplain praying to avoid what the president first called "self-inflicted wounds." let's bring in jon karl. he's been at his post every step of the way. the source has told you the vice president has been called in on this. >> reporter: that's right. i'm told the vice president is now playing a direct role in these negotiations, trying to get to a deal, a last-minute deal, a key player in the final hours. president obama set off the high-stakes weekend scramble friday night, imploring congressional leaders to take action immediately. >> the american people are not going to have any patience for a politicall
at the end of the week. we begin with tom costello in washington. >> reporter: the white house today said president obama supports a bill that would outlaw assault rifles and high ammo clips. four days after the newtown massacre, the nra today broke its silence in a statement saying it's made up of 4 million moms and dads, sons and daughters, who are shocked, sad and heart broken by the murders in newtown. it says it's prepared to offer meaningful contributions to make sure this never happens again. talk of gun restrictions has people buying guns. >> people feeling insecure about their surroundings and about the future are purchasing weapons. >> reporter: in oklahoma. >> wanting to take care of themselves. taking care of their own safety, the safety of their family. >> reporter: at a gun range in virginia, tim was shooting a mini 14. he opposes an assault rifle ban. >> why should i be punished if i like to shoot for recreation. >> reporter: today the investment firm that makes the type used in the attack said it's selling the company describing the massacre as a watershed event. dick's sp
of the week. it's all where we begin tonight with nbc's tom costello in washington. tom, good evening. >> reporter: hi, brian. the white house today said president obama supports senator feinstein's proposed bill that would ban assault weapons and high capacity ammo clips. tonight gun control advocates think they have the momentum, but nra is now weighing in. four days after the newtown massacre, the nra today broke its silence in a statement saying it's made up of 4 million moms and dads, sons and daughters who are shocked, saddened and heart broken by the murders in newtown. it says it's prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. talk of new gun regulations has got gun store cash registers ringing in alabama. >> people who feel insecure about their surroundings and about the future are purchasing weapons. >> reporter: in oklahoma. >> wanting to take care of themselves. taking care of their own safety, the safety of their families. >> reporter: at a gun range in virginia, tim was shooting a mini 14. he opposes an assault weapons ban. >> why
in washington. the people of newtown are strong. they are a people of great faith, they are a small knit community. they will not retreat from this. in many ways, they will get stronger, and they will want us to make sure not that we use this, but that we learn from it and make ourselves a better society, a safer society. it's an important discussion to have and we will have it. as one who has been fortunate enough to represent newtown for 14 years in the state senate, i'm going to make sure that we have that discussion on many fronts. >> sir, do you think that newtown is ready to be used as a national example of why we need better gun regulation in this country? as unfortunate as it seems to politicize this heinous act, as young parents across this country, future parents across this country want to know that their children are safe when they go to school. do you think the town of newtown is ready to carry the burden of knowing that it needs to be used as an example? >> well, thomas, they are carrying an incredible burden that none of us want them to bear and they don't deserve. i don't
of teachers randi weingarten. >>> from nbc news in washington, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. >>> good sunday morning on a very difficult day for a small town in connecticut and for the entire country as we all grieve over the loss of life at sandy hook elementary. this morning we're getting a first look at the names and faces of some of the victims. 20 schoolchildren, eight boys, 12 girls, all first graders, and the six adults who died trying to protect them, including this heartbreaking video of a 6-year-old, anna marquez green, singing a hymn with her brother last summer. ♪ >> president obama will travel to newtown this afternoon to console victims' families and attend a community vigil. "the washington post" headline this morning sums up where we are nearly 48 hours after the shooting. wrenching details but few answers. that's where we want to start this special hour this morning with pete williams on what more we are learning about this investigation. and, pete, do we know about why it happened? >> no. i don't think we do, and i think -- of course, i don't think we can
, everybody. we're going to move to other news. daniel inouye is being remembered from washington to his home state of hawaii. he was a world war ii medal of honor winner who lost an arm to a german hand grenade in italy. he became the first japanese american in congress and served 50 years in the u.s. senate. his death was announced by harry reid. >> the kindness that he has shown me for me time here in the senate has been something i will cherish always. a man who has lived and breathed the senate. he was that patriot. >> very kind words. president obama also a native of hawaii tweeted aloha yesterday. he died yesterday at 88 years old. >>> there is progress in talks on the fiscal cliff, but major sticking points still remain with just two weeks to go. a top republican says there is disagreement over spending cuts versus new taxes and until that could be worked out, there won't be any talks about the specific details. and wall street closed higher over signs of the talks. the dow jones rose 100 points for its biggest gain of the month. early markets overseas also higher because of capitol h
being arrested for dui in washington. virginia police say republican mike crepo had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit. >>> former president george h.w. bush may be spending christmas in the hospital. doctors say he's in stable condition but needs to build up his energy. >>> christmas prayers are going out to nelson mandela. south africans are sending warm wishes to the ormer leader. he's been in the hospital for more than two weeks with a lung infection and gal stone surgery, as well. he's in no imminent danger but doctors want to make sure before releasing him. the icon is 94 years old. >>> now we turn to britain, where thousands of christmas travelers are having a rough go today. flooding has shut down train service in many areas, especially in scotland, southwest england and south wales, as well. in highways there impassable. drivers have been warned not to travel unless absolutely necessary. and more rain expected later today. >>> severe flooding is a problem in northern california. highways in sonoma california are under water. and up in the mountains, up to f
enforcement act that, if passed, would take away the ability from washington, d.c. to determine its own gun laws. perhaps it should be no surprise you, the card carrying member of the nra who rode to victory with tea party backing, made your position clear when you first ran for congress, saying quote, i stand strongly in support of our second amendment rights. the constitution grants south carolinans the right to defend themselves and their families and i will continue fighting to make sure that right is not weakened in any way. really, congressman, all of this when of the 142 guns used by the perpetrators of the 62 mass murders since 1982 in this country, three-quarters of those guns were obtained legally. all of this when in 2008 and 2009, gun deaths were the leading cause of death among black teens. let's be clear. even though you stand to be the only african-american senator in 2013, this is not about race. you said when you chose not to join the congressional black caucus that your campaign was never about race, and that's fine. you will be the senator representing the great state of
a real cliffhanger. members of the house are now leaving washington, now that a republican plan offered by house speaker john boehner, called plan b, was put aside. it simply did not have enough support to pass. boehner's plan would have raised taxes on those earning more than $1 million a year. after pulling the bill, boehner said it's now up to president obama and the senate to find a way to avoid the cliff. so there's no way to get a plan through the house based on republican support. that is the political lesson from this. but the day before, they said this is going to pass and then yanked it because the support in that chamber was not there. so i don't know quite where it goes from here. no one does. and now it's time for christmas break. so they get back and have less than a week to get something done before january. >> and the president isn't going to hawaii now, right? >> the last i heard, it was still up in the air. you can't imagine he would have a vacation now. or any of them shouldn't have a vacation now. but we don't know. so cliff hanger is the right word for sure. >>> now
with more of the special coverage after this. oh, let me guess --ou see this? more washington gridlock. no, it's worse -- look, our taxes are about to go up. not the taxes on our dividends though, right? that's a big part of our retirement. oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worked hard to save. well, the president and congress have got to work together to stop this dividend tax hike. before it's too late. ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] choose the same brand your mom trusted for you. children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by
at the raw numbers they've changed quite a bit. this is a nbc "washington post" poll. 54% favor stricter gun control laws and 59% support banning high-capacity magazines. we heard from joe manchin and joe warner, both with a-ratings with the nra. to ruth's point, chris, is there a chance that republicans could help to move them as well? >> well, i think so. i think we have seen that on the fiscal cliff issue. and the feeling here at the capitol, i've put the question to them and said, if gabby giffords, a congresswoman one of your own was almost fatally shot, and congress didn't react on gun control, what has to happen after this new event? this has changed the tenor. i was talking to a democratic leadership aide to made that point and also made the point when you have harry reid, if you remember in 2010, a tough re-election. the nra king just short of stopping him saying he was a friend of the second amendment. you have joe manchin and now mark warner. those are moderate democrats. they help bring republicans on board. maybe we would see movement. >> i want to bring in congressman yarmouth.
to washington, no vacation without legislation. we will be virtually monitoring airports to see which legislators are leaving town now that the vacation is supposed to begin. you know what? if we don't have a deal by this vacation, or a pledge not to go away, then the odds go to -- down to 50-50 that we'll get one before the end of the year. and then we may only get one when people look at their take-home play and have a collective bout of nausea from a recognition that there was a fiscal cliff all along and we were just pushed over it. that's how much your paycheck's going to shrink. here's the bottom line. let's hope for the best that our politicians move in the right direction. something we can see as early as sunday morning when they appear on the major political talk shows like "meet the press." but we'll be preparing for the worst. >> the house of pain! >> that our lawmakers go home for the holidays, meaning we will likely go over the cliff and nothing will be done about it until after taxpayers actually feel the real pain. let's go to r.w. in nevada, please. r.w. >> caller: jim
in washington. tonight we have an hour to get on top of this horrific tragedy in connecticut, to get our heads around it, to understand why it happened, how things like this happen. we'll take, of course, much longer. but let's get to it. we have chris jansing on the scene in newtown, connecticut. nbc justice correspondent pete williams in washington. we have clint van zandt, former fbi profiler and nbc analyst with me in the studio. nbc white house correspondent kris welker is with us. we also have larry johnson, the president of the national association of school safety and law enforcement officials. first we go for an immediate update to my msnbc colleague chris jansing. chris, i know you have aride on the site in newtown, connecticut. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, there was just a briefing by officials here, and it is obviously the most devastating of news. as they describe it, this has been a scene of absolute horror. in fact, they have moved the press away from the school here to a community area, and the parents are still gathering at the nearby fire station. the problem is the
. >> he's a grizzled old vet. the grey hair is coming in. >> and from washington, nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent, host of "andrea mitchell reports", the lovely andrea mitchell. >> happy holidays. >> and "washington post" columnist, jonathan capehart. thank you all so much for being with us. and why don't we just start really quickly with the story of the year, mika. and that, of course, barack obama wins, the republicans lose. and in a way that perhaps is more telling than just what one election result might suggest. >> well, i think it certainly does. and it gives him a certain platform and credibility that perhaps he didn't have before. but watching as these fiscal cliff negotiations have gone through the holidays, it certainly is perhaps a little bit more of a bully pulpit for the president and for his position on taxes. but i think the biggest story of the year came at the end of the year, in the past week or so. which is the massacre at the elementary school in sandy hook, newtown. those are the stories that barnicle and andrew have chosen as the top stories of 2012 to
." ♪ >>> good evening. i'm chris matthews down in washington. let me start tonight with this. is gun violence, mass violence, mass violence against children the price we pay for freedom? is watching and doing nothing what we have to put up with to obey the second amendment? is it? we're suppose he had to do nothing because the constitution upholds the right to bear arms. well, we have easy access to semiautomatic weapons in this country, semiautomatic rifles. is it a good society that does this, allows it? a country where anyone can get ahold of a rifle that can kill 26 people in ten minutes. is this a good society? is it really a free society when you can't be sure your kids are safe sitting at their school desks? i ask the questions knowing the only way we can end this is with the votes of politicians from deer hunting country, not from the big cities. will they be there? will politicians who fear the gun lobby bear up under the strain of attack against any measure no matter how small to curb the power of the gun owners? the question tonight, what should and most importantly can be done to
with me. i'm brooke baldwin here in atlanta. time to go, as we always do, to washington. "the situation room" with wolf blitzer begins right now. hey, wolf. >> hi, brooke. thanks very much. happening now, the connecticut shooting investigation appears to be moving into a new phase at one crime scene. stand by. >>> a blizzard, rain, and high winds. a winter storm is on the move and holiday travel potentially could be taking a big hit. information you need to know. >>> and a new hollywood film about the hunt for osama bin laden is getting a terrible review from three united states senators. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." right now, the house of representatives is getting closer to a showdown vote on the house speaker's plan to avoid that so-called fiscal cliff. it's a high stakes bargaining chip in the negotiations with president obama and it comes only 12 days before automatic tax hikes and spending cuts go into effect. that could take a painful toll on the u.s. economy. let's go to capitol hill. our senior congressional correspondent dana bash is standing by with the
that changed our nation. it's the annual re-enactment of george washington's christmas day crossing of the delaware river in 1776. hundreds gathered to watch the event and to hear a washington stand-in deliver the speech to the troops. this year, the weather just didn't cooperate. only one boat tried to make the crossing. but the water was just too rough. the weather must have been better back in '76 because there were enough boats to carry 2,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 18 canons from pennsylvania to new jersey. the historic trek turned the tide in the revolutionary war. >> at least they tried. maybe they didn't make it. >>> there was quite a treat for fans at yesterday's rockets/bulls game in chicago. >> the crowd watched as the bulls mascot and a bunch of santas put on this impressive display of slam-dunking. granted, yes, they were using trampolines to get that high above the rim. you have to give them credit, especially after they had been delivering those presents all night long. too bad the bulls, though, could not deliver a win. ouch. >> nice to see santa like that. >>> stil
news, washington. >> for all the people talking about reform right now, background checks, strengthening that system right now, absolutely a part of it. and closing that gun show loophole. you have to believe they'll be part of whatever final package emerges. >> what wonderful work this young man is doing. he's an ambassador for peace. >> turning tragedy into a legitimate cause. that's admirable. we'll be back. we'll be back. [ female announcer ] what does the anti-aging power of olay total effects plus the perfecting color of a bb cream equal? introducing the newest beauty trend. total effects cc cream c for color. c for correction. [ female announcer ] fight 7 signs of aging flawlessly. cc what's possible. ♪ ♪ oh i need someone to read me stories ♪ ♪ oh, someone to turn the page >>> with the past few weeks gridlocked on capitol hill, lawmakers took a rather unusual step yesterday. >> they took a break from their work to go to the movies, together. the senators were hoping for a little inspiration in leadership and more importantly, in bipartisanship. abc's sunlen
of closed car door talks lawmakers in washington left town for the holidays on friday without an agreement to avert what we're calling the fiscal curb. a series of automatic tax increases and spending cuts to take affect a week from now. a moment this week, the two sides seemed on the cusp of a deal. that would have involved at least one major concession from president obama. to cut social security benefits. the cuts wouldn't have been direct. they would have come from a tweak to the way the social security benefits are calculated. here's how it works. right now the amount of money a retireee gets from the government gets is changed due to the index. when inflakes goes up, social security recipients see their payments go up the same amount to keep up with the cost of living. obama proposes switching to "chained cpi. "the name is opaque but the name is simple. the chained cpi rises more slow lie than regular cpi. if you yoois chain cpi to calculate social security benefits the amounts of the social security checks will rise more slowly, as well, against inflation. for about two days, this m
tathss. there's a close political parallel between the gridlock in washington on dealing with our economy and national debt and the eerie silence in congress as the list of horrific gun crimes grows by the day. senator durbin, thank you. i know you have got a good heart on this as well as a good head about fiscal matters. what's wrong with the congress when it comes to protecting, ensuring the domestic tranquility? >> well, there's a legitimate concern about our second amendment, chris. you understand that part. but there's also a very strong political force that is trying to push forward, primarily for the dealers and manufacturers h an agenda that will sell more firearms and more sophisticated firearms, more expensive firearms, and that is really dominated the scene. if you asked who is the head of the alcohol, tobacco and firearms division of the department of division, you would have to learn unfortunately that for literally years there's not been a head. the nra and gun lobbyist successfully even stopped the basic organization in charge of enforcement of our gun laws in america. >> w
, president obama promised action but what can washington do to tackle the unholy trinity of guns, mental illness, and the culture of violence. >>> we will get to the latest on the investigation in connecticut and what may have driven this gunman to such violent and deadly action. if there's a motive that makes any sense. >>> and president obama and house speaker john boehner met again and there's renewed optimism on the fiscal cliff negotiations. do you believe it? optimism? we can use that for christmas. >>> let me finish with why i'm hopeful, really am, about the fiscal cliff. >>>, this, of course, is "hardball," the place for politics. it's swanson flavor boost. concentrated broth to add delicious flavor to your skillet dish in just one stir. mmm! [ female announcer ] cook, meet compliments. get recipes at flavorboost.com. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express house speaker john boehner met "hardball," the place for [ loud party sounds ] hi, i'm ensur
. molly has more from washington. >> today in his weekly radio and internet address, he honored the teachers and administrators and students who were killed in the connecticut shool shooting. she described the murdered students as young children with whole lives ahead of them. >> our hearts are broken today. we grieve for the families of those we lost. we keep in our prayers the parents of those who survived because as blessed as they to have their children home they know their child's innocence has been torn by the way. >> molly: flags were lowered to half-staff in honor to those that were killed. usually the republicans would put out a radio and sbrchbt address but john boehner put out a statement instead after the school shooting, saying, quote, there will be no weekly republican address this weekend so that president obama can speak for the entire nation at this time of mourning. i join the president and all americans in sending prayers and condolences to the victims loved ones. janet napolitano says that department will provide, quote, any support necessary to state and loc
about the shooter and what he did in the days before the attack. nbc's pete williams is in washington. pete with a good day, what have you learned? >> reporter: alex, the connecticut authorities have not yet formally identified the gunman, but we're been told and i think it's widely known it's adam lanza is his name, 20 years old who was living with his mother. they say the shooting actually began that morning about three miles from the school at the home where he was living with his mother, that he shot her then drove her car to the school. now we're told that he had actually four handguns when he entered the school. we had known about the first two. they say there were two others that were found. and then he also had a rifle that was not brought into the school we're told by several officials, that it was left in the car, and that all these weapons were legally purchased by his parents. although officials say on tuesday of this past week adam lanza went to a sporting goods store in connecticut and tried to buy a rifle but was turned down for various reasons, because of the connectic
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